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Maine schools prepare for education cuts

5:49 PM, Dec 28, 2012   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - School Districts around the state are planning how to get through the rest of the year with less money.

 Governor Paul LePage has issued a budget curtailment order to keep the current state budget balanced. That order would take away $12.5 million in state aid to local schools. In Augusta, Democratic leaders say they plan to start reviewing the budget order next week - but also say they're concerned about the education cuts in particular. Sen. Seth Goodall (D-Richmond), the Senate Majority Leader, says they are also concerned about proposed cuts to the University of Maine System and the Community College System

The state had budgeted just over $900 million for General Purpose Aid to Education (GPA) this year, and the Education Commissioner says the $12.5 million of curtailment cuts will average one percent or less for most school district. But Commissioner Steve Bowen also acknowledges that the cuts are likely to impact school programs that directly affect students.

 However, Bowen says most school districts have known some level of GPA cuts was likely to occur, and have been preparing contingency plans. Bowen says he believes superintendents will do all they can to minimize the impact on classroom programs. 

Sen. Goodall says the new Appropriations Committee will begin work on January 4 and immediately start reviewing the details of the curtailment order, with a particular eye on the education cuts.

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